Posted on January 14th, 2013
y husband hates January.
He feels bad about it. He told me so. He said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry that I hate your birthday month (more on that next week), but it’s cold and dark and can you really blame me?”
It’s sweet of him to apologize but I don’t take it personally. His problems with winter generally and January specifically don’t have anything to do with the sunny season we see—with only the most infrequent of snow flurries—here in the desert. His issues with the months immediately following Christmas are tied up with the five years he spent in school in South Bend, Indiana, a corner of the world that only sees the sun for eight hours a dayfor five long months running if you want to take the word of an escaped grad student who probably lived for half a decade in his long underwear with an undiagnosed case of seasonal affective disorder.
Also, he just likes to wear shorts and January doesn’t allow for a lot of wiggle room on that point. January is not a shorts month.
It’s too bad for him, really, because January holds so much potential. A little of it is tied up in the resolution/New Year’s thing, the idea that you can change yourself or some piece of the world around you just by committing yourself to the undertaking, but that’s not all of it.
The year stretches out in front of us with its observances and anniversaries so there’s still a distant sense of things that will need to be marked and attended to, but the possibilities still somehow manage to seem prodigious in January. Is there a friend you didn’t manage to see or a place that you never quite got around to visiting? Enter January, its cold calendar wide open, only the first of eleven more similarly unscheduled months. Okay, no shorts, but does any month hold out hope in quite the same way that January does?
I don’t think so, and I can’t believe that’s only 40-years of birthday cake talking.∗